How to Use Search Console for Quick SEO Wins

How Google’s Search Console Helps You Improve SEO

If you are not already using Google’s Search Console service to monitor how well your website is performing in Google searches, put signing up for the service on your to-do list for today. The intelligence and data Search Console provides is like nuggets of gold just waiting to be mined. Business owners, website managers, and digital marketers, regardless of their level of technical expertise, can use Search Console easily and apply the takeaways they learn to strategically enhance the performance of their website, including increasing traffic and improving conversions.

With Search Console, you can:

  • Monitor website performance
  • Submit content you want crawled for searches and remove content you don’t want the search engine to index
  • See which search queries work best to bring visitors to your website
  • Track and monitor your site’s backlinks (hyperlinks from other web pages to your own website or web page)
  • Be informed when an error occurs on your website, such as a broken link, missing page, or crawl error

Quickly, easily, improve your website’s SEO

One especially important reason to be signed up for Google’s Search Console service is to utilize the intelligence the data provides – those nuggets of gold – to improve your website’s SEO. Without search engine optimization, your website stands little chance of ever showing up in a Google search or getting found.

The following list provides ways to use those nuggets of information to quickly and easily improve your site’s SEO.

Take advantage of all the functionality Google provides to monitor your website’s performance and see where improvements are needed or things need to be fixed. When you systematically address the technical areas of your website that impact SEO, you both improve the ability of your site to rank well in searches and enhance the user experience across the entire site. The end results are well worth the effort. At Perfexion, Inc. we put our web development and web content expertise to work for you. We specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability at all times. Contact us today.

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Home Page Must Haves

Website Home Page Must-Haves

The home page of a website has mere seconds to impress and engage those who visit it. People who visit a website for the first time are usually looking for certain information upfront – information that indicates they are in the right place. When users’ initial questions are addressed right away, they’ll be more likely to remain on the website, look around, and respond to a call to action. Think about what you look for or expect to find on the home page of a website you visit for the first time. Then think about what you do if you are unable to quickly or easily find the information you’re looking for. Chances are, you click away and search elsewhere.

The content on your website home page should inform, build reader confidence in your business, and showcase you as credible and trustworthy. Every business is different, so content will vary from one website to another. But the following nine elements are must-haves for every home page.

  1. Spell out what you do – Inform visitors in simple, straightforward terms exactly what your business does. If the purpose of your business is not immediately clear, people will leave your website and go to one that clearly spells out what they do.
  2. Explain how visitors benefit from using your products or services – Beyond saying what you do, make clear the main benefit (or benefits) your offering provides or the problem it solves.
  3. Client testimonials – Strategically place several customer reviews on the home page, as these highlight your experience and build trust. Testimonials that mention the service you provided and the clients’ satisfaction are all you need.
  4. Awards, recognitions, associations, certifications – These showcase your professionalism and expertise, and give you credibility in your industry.
  5. Overview of service offerings – Mentioning your products and services on your home page and linking them to more detailed information serves you three ways. You: 1) better inform visitors about what you do or sell, 2) make it easier for them to click the link for more detailed information, and 3) help your home page rank higher in search engine results.
  6. Contact information – Don’t hide or bury key information such as your phone number, email address, and mailing address. By providing this information, you let customers know your business is legitimate and that they can easily communicate with you. The footer of the page is where most companies place their contact information.
  7. Social media links – If you also market your business on social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or Twitter, you probably want to get the word out as much and as often as possible. Your homepage should include clearly identifiable icons for each to make it easy for users to Like, Follow, Share, and Retweet!
  8. Images and graphics – Quality images that are unique to your business let visitors know what to expect and go far in building credibility. Use stock images sparingly, and make sure all images are high resolution and sized properly.
  9. Call to action – Decide what you want visitors to your website to do once they’re there. Do you want them to subscribe to your email list? Clip a coupon for the offer of the week? Complete a form for more information? Place a logical and clear call to action for whatever makes the most sense for your business.

A home page should provide upfront information about your business that your target customers most want and need to know. Incorrect or insufficient information either forces the user to click around to find what they want, or worse, causes them to leave the website without looking any further. Even if other pages on your website contain exactly what they are looking for, if the home page is unclear, visitors are more likely than not to click away. And when visitors click away after visiting just one page, the bounce rate for your website goes up.

Look at the home page of your website with a critical eye. Does it contain the information a new visitor needs to understand who you are, what you do, and the value you bring? If not, take time to update the home page to add these critical elements, or hire a professional web design and development company with the digital marketing expertise to make sure the home page for your business makes the best first impression it possibly can.

Philadelphia web design company Perfexion, Inc. specializes in web design and development, including search engine and digital marketing. They are experts at building websites that meet users’ needs and add value to the business they represent. Perfexion thrives on helping clients be as successful as possible. They collaborate closely with you to understand your business and put that information to work in every website they build.

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Paid Search

Is Paid Search Marketing for You?

The vast majority of businesses today rely on their company website to promote themselves and their service offerings. Interested people visit a company’s website and take any number of actions: read about the company’s services, fill out an inquiry form, call their toll free number, buy their products, or, if they’re not interested, click away.

The challenge companies face is to get people – potential customers – to visit their website in the first place. If these people know you, they can perform a quick, simple internet search based on your company name. But, if they don’t know who you are or what you do, getting them to your website takes some doing.

Web developers specialize in making sure a website is optimized to appear in search engine results through the use of search engine marketing (SEM) tools such as search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is about making a website appear high in natural, or organic, search results. A user enters a search query using relevant keywords, and receives search results that match the query based on relevance. A website that has been search engine optimized will have taken into consideration all relevant keywords and thus improve their chance of appearing higher in search results – and ultimately being shown to the person looking for their services.

Another way a business can be found on the internet is through paid search results. Paid search is a form of internet advertising – also known as pay-per-click (PPC) – by which a website owner pays for their web page/ad to display when a user performs a search using specific keywords and then clicks on the company’s ad. Different search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) display paid ads differently, but, in general, the ads appear on a search engine results page either above the results of an organic search or set off to the right. Paid search results can be further set apart with other visual indicators such as shading or a border around the ad itself.

The advertising space available on a search engine results page is limited, so advertisers must compete for this space by bidding on how much they are willing to pay if someone clicks on their ad. If an online advertiser bids higher than other advertisers, and their ad is highly relevant to the search being performed, their ad is likely to appear at or near the top of the search engine results page.

As with other forms of SEM, the objective of paid advertising is to strategically increase traffic to a company website and generate leads and conversions for the business. An effective paid search advertising campaign ensures that a company’s online marketing message lands directly in front of the company’s target audience – those who are most likely to buy their products and services – and gets them to click on the ad.

Of course success and effectiveness of a paid search advertising campaign also depends on how well the campaign is managed and monitored. Because a company pays for their internet advertising every time someone clicks on their ad, the ad should be the most relevant it can be to the person viewing it. If someone clicks on a paid ad and is taken to the advertiser’s website, but then immediately clicks away, the relevance of the ad to the person doing the search was not optimal. The goal for a company that uses paid advertising should always be for whoever clicks on their ad to be looking specifically for the very business offering the company provides, so that once the person lands on their website or landing page, they see exactly what they’re looking for.

A business that is thinking of doing a pay-per-click campaign would do themselves a huge favor by consulting with a professional web development company that is experienced in managing these types of campaigns. The expertise that goes into understanding, setting up, and running a successful campaign is usually beyond that of the average business owner. The best way a company can maximize the return on its paid search advertising investment is to rely on an expert to run and manage their campaign. Paid search campaigns require the following, and more:

    • Proper keyword research
    • Well-written, effective advertising copy
    • Analysis and tracking of the coding and tagging associated with the ad campaign
    • A relevant landing page that maximizes the investment on the advertising and conversions
    • Checking for click fraud (fraudulent clicking on the ad)
    • Industry expertise and competitive knowledge (knowing what the competition is doing)

 

Paid search and pay-per-click advertising is not going away any time soon. This type of SEM has proven effective and lucrative for those companies who fully understand and are engaged in how their campaign is set up and managed. To learn more about how your business might benefit from paid search and PPC, contact Perfexion, Inc. – a professional web design and development company in the Philadelphia area that understands everything you need to know about internet advertising. Perfexion specializes in helping clients market their business using all available online tools. Contact them today to schedule your initial consultation.

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Technical SEO

Don’t Let Your SEO Efforts Go to Waste

Any web developer worth his or her salt is an expert at both off-page and on-page SEO. Simply put, good on-page SEO means a website contains content that is optimized for certain keywords and phrases so that the site’s search rankings and relevance to users are improved. Good off-page SEO means a site gains authority and relevance by building and effectively managing backlinks from other relevant, authoritative sources.

All that attention and focus on having just the right on- and off-page SEO will go to waste if the technical aspects of SEO are ignored or improperly handled. The following checklist contains recommendations for achieving the best results in terms of your site’s user experience, search engine crawling, indexing, and of course, ranking.

  • Set up and manage your website’s sitemap: A sitemap informs search engines about how your website is structured. Make sure your sitemap is clean/error-free, updated when content is posted or removed, concise so crawls can be more effective, and registered in Google Search Console.
  • Check the pages on your website that are indexed by the various search engines, including those that have been restricted from indexing, to make sure the number of pages indexed is about the same as the number of pages on your website.
  • Use an SEO crawler, not just robots.txt, to check that every critical resource on your website is crawlable and not blocked from indexing. An SEO crawler performs a more comprehensive check that includes CSS and JavaScript files, orphan pages (those that are on your site but are not internally linked), and more that might be restricted but should not be.
  • Enhance the frequency with which search engines crawl the pages of your website during a specific period of time – your crawl budget. Google statistics provide the average number of times the pages of your site are crawled daily, and from that you can calculate your monthly crawl budget. Use that intelligence to maximize the crawls that are being performed. How? By removing duplicate content, restricting indexing on pages that don’t support SEO, making crawling more efficient by adding URL parameters, and fixing broken links and redirects.
  • Audit your site’s internal links to make sure the structure of your site is both logical and shallow. For example, check to ensure your site’s important pages are reachable within three clicks of the homepage (the depth of your pages). When fixing broken links, look for those that could be hidden in link tags, sitemaps, and HTTP headers. Address linking on orphan pages to make it easier for visitors and search engines to find them.
  • Audit your website for HTTPS issues that could affect your site’s ranking. Check the different types of content on pages you believe are secure; if you have mixed content, it could be coming from an HTTP connection that is not secure which, in effect, makes your page less secure and can even stop a browser from loading it altogether. Make sure all the links, redirects, and canonical URLs point directly to HTTPS pages to reduce/eliminate the number of unnecessary redirects, which make a website appear slow and eat away at your crawl budget. If your site is still HTTP, consider migrating to HTTPS, given that Google uses HTTPS as one of its ranking signals.
  • Make sure your site’s pages load in two seconds or less. Google factors speed when ranking a site, and a page that loads quickly and efficiently provides an optimum user experience as well as improves your bounce and conversion rates because users will be less inclined to click away from a page that has loaded quickly.
  • Prioritize the mobile friendliness of your website and perform an in-depth audit of the site. With search queries from mobile devices on a steady rise, Google is planning to change how it indexes website pages. They will soon begin indexing mobile versions of websites first, rather than their desktop versions. Google provides a mobile-friendly test that lets you check a variety of criteria such as text size, plugins, how pages are viewed, and more. The key is to perform the test on every landing page of your site, since Google determines mobile friendliness on a page by page basis.
  • Just as you need to restart your computer for software updates to take effect, you should have search engines re-crawl your website to make sure fixes and changes you make to your site go immediately into effect. You can submit requests to Google and Bing to re-crawl and re-index on a URL basis or on your entire website.

By systematically addressing the technical areas of your website that impact SEO, you both improve the ability of your site to rank well in searches and enhance the user experience across the entire site. The end results are well worth the effort. At Perfexion, Inc. we specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability.

Note: Thanks to Link-Assistant.com (https://www.link-assistant.com/news/technical-seo-audit.html) for the valuable tips presented here.

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Bad Website and Website Concerns

Bad Website/Website Concerns

Top 5 Website Concerns

You’ve spent hours building and setting up your website. It’s finally done. You set up analytics to track how well your website performs. At the end of that arduous journey, you even give yourself a pat on the back as congratulations for your accomplishment. Unfortunately, you’re the only one passing out congratulations. Why? Because the average user finds the aesthetic presentation of your website unattractive and the organization and information lacking. Along the way, you failed to treat the design and development of your website the way you would build and design a bricks-and-mortar store.

A user’s experience on a website should be every bit as good as a customer’s physical in-store experience. Customers and potential customers who walk into a store off the street should feel welcome and be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. If the products in your store are set up willy nilly on the shelves, sales people shout out to you from opposite sides of the building, and dust bunnies float around your ankles, chances are good you are going to turn around and walk right out. The same holds true for your website. One mistake on your site is all it takes to destroy credibility in your business and can keep a user away for life.

Most people have heard the phrase “Build it, and they will come,” and understand the meaning it espouses. But, the phrase “Build it well, and they will come” more correctly promotes the analogous idea that a website must be done well for people to not only come, but to stay and conduct business – shop, buy, call, contact – whatever you want them to do.

Most people look at a variety of websites on any given day, whether on their phones, their laptops, or their tablets. Most of these same people don’t give the websites they view a second thought because these sites look nice, feel comfortable, and function properly. The user achieves whatever it is they went to the site for in the first place. In a word, their user experience is optimum. And when user experience is good, the website’s bounce rate – the rate at which users leave a site after visiting just a single page – is low.

What do good websites have (or do) that bad ones don’t? Because your website is your virtual store, ease and convenience of use are not all that matter. Consider the distinct aspects of your website’s design and development, and how they might affect a user’s decision to stay or leave. By addressing these appropriately, you ensure visitors have the best possible experience and will want to keep coming back for more.

Top Website Issues


The design and function of your website is just as important as the information your site provides and the products and services you sell there. Professional web designers and developers are trained to build websites that appeal visually, function appropriately, attract users, and keep bounce rates down. Don’t jeopardize the profitability of your business by building your own website and missing the mark on any of these key details.

Philadelphia web design company Perfexion, Inc. specializes in web design and development, including monitoring and managing the performance of clients’ websites. They are experts at building brands and all types of online marketing. Because they thrive on helping clients be as successful as possible, they collaborate with you to understand your business and build a website that targets your ideal customer and increases relevant traffic.

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Understanding Search Engine Marketing

Online Marketing: What Is SEM?

Search engine marketing – SEM – is a form of internet marketing in which an online business purchases ads on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, with the goal of increasing traffic to its company website. SEM can be a highly effective and valuable strategy in support of a company’s digital marketing efforts because SEM lets advertisers place their marketing message directly in front of their target audience.

The real power behind SEM is that a company’s ad appears in front of their target customer at the very moment the customer is the most motivated to buy – when they have just performed a search for whatever it is the company is selling or promoting. SEM can also be highly effective when used in conjunction with social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, and other online apps.

SEM is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click advertising, keyword advertising, and targeted advertising. The advertiser bids on specific keywords that an internet user – the advertiser’s target customer – might enter when performing a search for a particular product or service. Then, when a search query is performed using those keywords, the advertiser has the opportunity for their ad to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) along with the search engine’s other results.

These paid or sponsored ads can be text-based or they can be more visual and provide potential consumers with information they likely find most useful upfront, such as customer reviews and price. Ads appear alongside other search results on a SERP and are identified as such. Sponsored ads can appear above the list of search results at the top of the page, or they can be located along the right side of the page.

SEM works in combination with search engine optimization (SEO), which involves managing a website’s content and behind-the-scenes site architecture with the objective of improving the website’s ranking and visibility in search engines and on SERPs. Understanding SEO and applying it correctly and wisely is critical to the success of any SEM campaign, since success is determined by how well you, or your web developer, selected and bid on keywords to be used in the paid ads.

Different search engines refer to their paid advertising programs differently. For example, Google’s service is called Google AdWords and also Pay Per Click (PPC), and Bing’s service is called Bing Ads. Google is, by far, the most widely used search engine, but the benefits derived from paid ads through any available search engine are generally the same.

Benefits of SEM

Through search engine marketing, businesses can:

  • Gain new website traffic and improve click-through rates, as paid ads help attract more potential customers – Well-managed ad campaigns rank well in search engine results, which means a company’s ads can appear directly in front of their target consumer at the moment they are searching for the company’s products or services.
  • Trust that the web traffic they receive from paid advertising will be highly qualified – Consumers who click on a company’s ads are looking specifically for what they offer.
  • Set their advertising budget, then pay only when a consumer clicks on the ad.
  • Reach mobile customers anywhere, anytime – Ads appear when customers are out searching (that is, shopping) for the very products or service a company offers.
  • Paid ad campaigns are flexible and can be customized – Target consumers by: geography, gender, remarketing, age, day, whatever aligns with the advertiser’s needs and budget.

SEM requires close attention to know what is, or is not, working. Web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track keyword performance and make real-time adjustments if something is not performing as well as expected.

Web Development SEM Support

Web developers and digital marketing experts should work with businesses to ensure the SEM services they provide will generate results. Web developers should:

  • Consult with and analyze the business – And the competition, and fully understand the business’s target market.
  • Gather the business’s detailed requirements – In terms of the goals for each ad campaign, the maximum budget, and the expected results.
  • Research keywords – With proper analysis, a developer can come up with a list of optimum keywords the company’s target audience might use to search online for the products and services they offer.
  • Properly align budget with each ad campaign – Advertisers often have multiple bid strategies with different amounts of ad spend for each.
  • Place ads and monitor results – Ad testing, monitoring, and adjusting is mandatory to ensure the best results and maximum return on each ad investment.

The goal of SEM is to increase and enhance a company’s visibility and relevance to targeted users – both customers and potential customers – with the purpose of increasing web traffic, improving conversions, gaining additional qualified leads, and ultimately growing profits. Perfexion, Inc. provides search engine marketing services including establishing and managing pay-per-click campaigns. They specialize in online marketing and understand what is needed for SEM to perform at optimum levels and provide a positive return on every client’s PPC investment.

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SEO in Non-Techy Terms

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization – SEO – is a tool used by web developers and digital marketers. Its purpose is to enhance the visibility of a website or web page in search engine results so that, when a user performs a search using their preferred search engine – Google, Yahoo, or Bing – the website or information the user searched for appears at or near the top of the list on the search engine results page, or SERP.

When a user performs a search, they enter a word or series of words in their search engine’s search box and wait for the search engine to provide its results. The words a user types are called keywords, and users generally know the keywords they type should be specific, rather than general, to get the best results from their search. For example, if a user enters the word “sweater,” they’ll receive hundreds of billions of results. But, if they enter “fuchsia cardigan sweater under $20 in size 8,” the number of results returned decreases considerably.

This type of search query is called a natural search, and the results returned are called organic or unpaid search results. In a matter of seconds, or split seconds, search engines process through billions of entries in their index and return results that are the most relevant to the search terms used. They analyze the keywords entered as well as the larger context of the query to match these with websites, web pages, etc., that are useful, informational, and relevant. These results are typically listed on the left-hand side of the search engine results page. Websites and webpages with a well-organized, well-managed SEO strategy have increased chances of appearing at or near the top of the list on SERP.

Early on, SEO relied on the repeated use of keywords and links in web pages. Copywriters crammed pages with keywords to the point the content was both awkward and poorly written – all in an attempt to outsmart the likes of Google. In time, search engines saw what was happening and updated and changed their search algorithms. In effect, so users would be satisfied with the search results they received and so businesses would improve the content on their websites and basically have to compete to appear high on the SERPs.

If you’re starting to see a connection between users, websites, search engines, and search engine results pages, it’s because one exists. A user performs a query using certain key words and phrases. A website is written and designed in anticipation of how a user – the business’s target audience or customer – searches for the product/service offering or information provided on the website. Search engines look for web content that contains indicators of value in response to the user’s search, such as links, images, and other relevant content on a website. The SERP lists websites/web pages that have the highest SEO relevance and value based on 1) how the user queried and 2) how valuable web content is.

 

The successful marketing of any business online requires a thoughtful SEO strategy. SEO requires business owners and marketers to fully understand their audience – both existing customers and their target market – and work to align web content to react appropriately to what the customer wants and how they ask for it.

Businesses need to closely examine just how their target market searches for products/services online. Today, SEO and the power behind search engines go far beyond filling a web page with keywords and matching a user’s search terms with the keywords on the website. That is because search engines rely on more than keywords when providing results to a query. They look for web content that is appealing. Content must be useful, informative, and interesting. It must respond to whatever type of request a user makes, whether it is to buy a product, solve a problem, learn how to do something, hire a service, watch a video, and more.

While SEO values the content that is visible on-screen, that is, the words, images, etc., everything that goes on behind the scenes – technical SEO – is equally important. Technical SEO is what helps search engines crawl to your website and index it. Web developers, those who handle the technical aspects of SEO, understand the techniques search engines use to access and crawl to websites, and they make sure their clients’ websites are in alignment with those techniques.

Developers are necessary for improving SEO for a variety of reasons, such as conducting SEO audits to locate issues that impede crawling; eliminating duplicate content; fixing errors; and making sure content all links and pages work the way they’re supposed to. They, along with digital marketing experts, follow all trends, practices, and updates relating to search engine optimization. As experts, they understand the trends and how they relate to the digital marketing efforts of their clients.

The web developers at Perfexion, Inc. specialize in SEO and the entire gamut of online marketing channels and strategies. They pride themselves on ensuring clients’ SEO and digital marketing efforts perform at optimum levels and that their digital marketing investment always provides a positive return.

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CMS and eCommerce Go Hand in Hand

CMS & eCommerce Web Design

Ecommerce websites are successful only if they function well for users, that is, customers, and are well managed, maintained, and regularly updated. Imagine this scenario: A visitor to your website places three items in their shopping cart, but moves away without completing their purchase because the checkout process is slow. Or this one: Your online catalog of products displays items from last December, only it is now July. Both scenarios are unthinkable if an online business is to survive in the highly competitive shopping environment that is the internet.

Proper management of your online store and the huge amounts of data it contains can only be accomplished through the use of a content management system – CMS. CMS software lets you publish content on your ecommerce website, edit/update it as needed, and tailor it to handle the functions your online store requires – all without waiting for your web developer to make these changes for you.

Why Use CMS for My eCommerce Website?

You may think learning and using a content management system is complicated and requires years of training, and therefore shy away from using one. Not true. The reasons to use a CMS far outweigh the risks of not using one.

  • Using a CMS requires little to no technical expertise in web programming. Basic CMS functions usually require nothing more than the same skills you might have when using a word-processing program.
  • Your focus is entirely on the web content, not the actual design of the website. This means, for example, that your marketing team can direct their attention to what really matters: content that sells, SEO, social media, and more.
  • You determine which employees have permission to access the CMS and how they use it to create and publish content on your site. You control access, for example, to product managers; marketers focused on delivering relevant content; or editors responsible for content on your site. Their content goes live only after you give final approval.
  • Customized templates ensure design and function remain consistent at all times. And, you make changes on your time, then schedule them to go live as needed.
  • Analytics tracking lets you know just how well your web content is performing. With real-time data, you can make adjustments that lead to improving conversions and increasing sales.

CMS Functions

Because ecommerce websites generally require similar functionality, content management systems are designed with many common functions and requirements in mind. They include:

  • User management – Here, user refers to the one who is making a purchase on your site. Managing relevant user information, such as their name, delivery/billing/email addresses, approval to receive company updates and marketing information, and more, are all essential elements of any CMS.
  • Product managementProduct­ refers to whatever you sell – goods, event tickets, ebooks, etc. A CMS lets you add, remove, and change product-related data such as: product name and identifier (e.g., SKU), images and description, price, product variables (size, color), inventory.
  • Product-User connection – This includes data such as the products a user viewed and if the products were placed in a shopping cart, all valuable information for doing push marketing if the user left your website without making a purchase.
  • Purchase and check-out procedures – CMS lets you set payment options such as credit card or PayPal handling, include taxes and delivery charges, or update pricing if users make a change to the quantity of items in their cart.
  • Miscellaneous settings – Data presented should follow a certain logic, depending on where a user is in the buying process. Examples of miscellaneous settings your ecommerce site might include are: adding product reviews, resetting forgotten passwords, and displaying items that are currently out of stock or on backorder.

Beyond the direct website experience, a CMS can be set up for other functions you want as part of your user experience. For example, you probably want to include a series of automated emails to be sent as certain user activity triggers them, such as: welcome to our site, abandoned cart, thank you for your purchase, and delivery confirmation. Or send product news and sale information to customers who sign up to receive those emails. In addition, CMS lets you install extensions to increase functionality by adding or changing CMS features that are unique to your business.

The options of using a CMS are practically limitless, in terms of both how you run your online store and how you manage it behind the scenes. To be, and remain, competitive in the online marketplace, start with the services of a professional web design and development company. Consult with one early on in the process to maximize the knowledge and expertise they can provide in terms of explaining the marriage that must occur between a content management system and your ecommerce website. Perfexion, Inc. is a web design and development company that specializes in helping clients market their business online effectively – and profitably. Contact them today to schedule your consultation.

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Online Marketing 101 – SEO and SEM Basics

Online marketing is a broad term that refers to the marketing of goods and services using available digital technologies. The most common digital technology used is the internet. A company or business that has a website is already doing online marketing to advertise their business; promote their product and service offerings; and/or announce sales, promotions, news, and events. But the extent to which they are successful with their online marketing efforts is a different question altogether.

You already know how important online marketing is to the survival of your business. If you don’t market your company – or market it well – potential customers may never know you exist and they will shop elsewhere. By understanding the basics of online – digital – marketing, you have the knowledge and power to put digital marketing strategies and techniques to work for you.

As technology and digital platforms have evolved in recent years, so has online marketing, which, today, comes quite close to being an exact science. Online marketing is also known as internet marketing, digital marketing, and web marketing, and the phrases are often used interchangeably. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two strategies that fall under the online marketing umbrella. They work in concert with each other to produce the desired results of increasing and enhancing a company’s online presence and relevance to targeted users – that is, to clients and potential clients – to improve conversions, increase web traffic, provide more qualified leads, and ultimately, grow the business and profits.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – involves taking steps on a website with the goal of increasing the site’s ranking and visibility within search engines, so that it can be easily found when people search for the goods or services the business offers.

  • SEO –

o   Follows and reacts to how search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing operate

o   Takes into account how users query and perform searches on the internet – including what they search for and the words or terms they use when performing a search

o   Looks for relevance and value in a website’s content

o   Involves having quality (well written) content and relevant backlinks, as well as a properly managed and maintained website in terms of HTML coding, sitemap, etc.

o   Requires removal of items and issues such as broken links that restrict a search engine’s ability to properly index a website

 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – is placing paid online ads that appear alongside other search engine results when a user performs a search and meets the targeted location, demographic, and other criteria associated with the ad.

  • SEM

o   Can be an extremely valuable component in your company’s digital marketing efforts

o   Is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click/keyword advertising, targeted advertising

o   Lets you to reach a target audience by placing an online marketing message directly in front of them

o   Involves bidding on the advertising and then paying when a viewer clicks on the ad

o   Incorporates SEO of keywords and phrases to increase traffic to your website as a result of a natural (organic) search query

o   Increases the visibility of your website by placing paid ads alongside user search results when they enter queries into search engines for the products or services you offer

o   Can be used in conjunction with social media marketing

SEO and SEM strategies both require close attention and maintenance to know what is, or is not, working. Savvy web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track which keywords perform the best and can make real-time adjustments if they see something is not working or is performing poorly.

Why Do SEM?

The benefits of doing paid advertising include attracting more customers and new website traffic. A properly run ad campaign will rank well in search engine results, and ensure ads appear in front of the very people who are looking for a company’s specific services. This ensures the people who visit their site are the most qualified and are more likely to follow through with a phone call or inquiry.

Occasionally, the way search engines index web pages and websites and present results to search queries can change. Such changes can affect the performance of SEO and SEM which, in turn, may require a change in the strategy a company uses when doing its online marketing. Good web developers follow and stay abreast of the trends and updates in internet marketing that affect their clients, and inform and educate them on the topic. If your own web or IT team is too busy managing other aspects of your business or website to keep up with the lightning-fast changes that occur with internet and search engine marketing, contact a reputable web development company for information on the latest requirements. Some will even perform an audit of your website and recommend changes or updates you’ll need to make to ensure your existing digital marketing efforts remain effective.

Perfexion, Inc. specializes in online marketing and understands what is needed for a website and all related digital marketing efforts to perform at optimum levels and achieve maximum results and profitability.

 

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Responsive Web Design: Every Search, Click, and Scroll Matters

Responsive Web Design: Every Search, Click, and Scroll Matters

When it comes to websites, customer service and user experience go hand in hand. If users have a good experience with a website that responds to their every search, click, and scroll – that is, with every interaction they have on that site – they will equate those interactions to good customer service. The opposite holds true as well. Your products and services may be the best in the business, but if a user can’t locate them on your website, or they click on a link and are taken to an error page, or worse, they can’t properly view your website on their mobile device, they will equate that to poor customer service. At which time, they will click away and never return.

Websites should always be fully accessible, readable, and functional for people who view them (error-free goes without saying) – regardless of the type or size of screen the website is being viewed from. Statistics indicate that more than 65% of web searches performed today are done on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If your website does not adjust dynamically for ease of reading on different devices, or images get blurry when a user pinches and expands them, your website is not responsive or mobile ready.

When building your website, responsiveness of design is one key factor to keep in mind. WordPress, the most popular tool for creating and managing websites and blogs, offers plenty of website themes with responsive design. That means that users will be able to easily read and use your website whether they’re looking at it on their desktop computer, their laptop, their tablet, or their mobile phone.

WordPress is popular for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are its ease of use and community forum that provides support on virtually any topic. In addition, WordPress as a content management system (CMS) offers:

  • Easy content creation and publication of web pages, posts, media, and more
  • Control over who can access/update your website and the functions they are permitted to perform
  • Drag-and-drop functionality to quickly and easily add images and other media to your website
  • Plugins to add other features such as calendars and social media
  • Search engine optimization so your website gets ranked and found on the internet

If your website is more informational and contains fewer functions than a website designed specifically for e-commerce, you can manage it perfectly well with WordPress CMS. As you build, change, and manage your WordPress website, with its responsive design functionality, new content and features will adapt to the responsive design, so you can be assured of always providing the best customer service and user experience to anyone who visits your website.

Two other content management systems assure website owners of responsiveness of design when used: Sitefinity™ and Kentico. If your website is complex, such as an extensive corporate website, and/or contains e-commerce (online shopping) functionality, Sitefinity and Kentico offer high-end CMS solutions to support the detailed and more technical needs these types of websites require.

Similar to WordPress in terms of the page management and user access features they offer, Sitefinity and Kentico offer additional functionality right out of the box:

  • Websites are mobile ready, which means you create your website once and it automatically adapts to a variety of devices and screen sizes. You can preview how your website will appear on different screen sizes, and adjust content if necessary.
  • With responsiveness of design, you present a unified brand message and you do so consistently across all types of devices and marketing channels such as social media, which makes for a singular user brand experience.

Beyond the direct website experience, a CMS can be set up for other functions you want as part of your user experience. For example, you probably want to include a series of automated emails to be sent as certain user activity triggers them: Welcome, abandoned cart, Thank You, delivery confirmation, and more. Or you want to send product news, sale information, or coupons. Given the mobile nature of our society, more people are doing business on their mobile devices than on desktop computers. Responsive design makes sure your entire message gets seen and is easy to respond to, so people will want to do business with you.

Website owners should choose the most appropriate content management system for their needs – based on the amount and level of functionality and complexity of their website. But, whether your website is simple or complex, if you want your website to display accurately on both desktop and mobile devices, make sure every aspect of your website contains responsiveness of design.

Responsive design is vital to engaging customers and users. If they can’t view and navigate around your site on their smartphone or tablet, they will move on to one they can. If you have limited expertise in website design and management, or you would rather spend time running your business than managing your website, consider consulting with a professional web design and development company. Perfexion, Inc. is a web design and development company that understand responsive design and how it interplays with CMS. Perfexion specializes in helping clients market their business online effectively – and profitably. Contact them today to schedule your consultation.

Contact Us Today!

E-MAIL hello@pfxn.com
CALL 610-783-7660
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